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Arroyo Fakes the Commutation of All Death Sentences to Gloss Over 556 Extrajudicial Killings Under Her Regime

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
19 April 2006

Gloria M. Arroyo should stop faking that she can nullify the death penalty law all by herself and make a wholesale commutation of the death sentences of more than 1000 inmates who have been convicted of murder and other heinous common crimes.

She is obviously engaged in cheap propaganda in order to misrepresent herself as "kind and compassionate" and counter her well-deserved notoriety throughout the world as someone culpable for rampant human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions and brutal suppression of the right to assembly and free speech.

Five hundred fifty six (556) people, including party list activists, leaders of unions and peasant associations, youth and women activists, human rights advocates, lawyers, journalists, priests and pastors, have been murdered in extrajudicial executions by military and police death squads since 2001. One hundred ninety nine (199) have been wounded in attempts of the military and police to kill them for engaging in protest activity against the Arroyo regime. The number of murdered and wounded victims continues to rise.

Arroyo should put a stop to these extrajudicial killings by ordering her military and police loyalists to cease and desist from carrying them out. The extrajudicial killings are a key feature of the reign terror carried on by the Arroyo regime for the purpose of complying with the increasingly discredited Bush war of terror and suppressing the people's struggle against Arroyo's usurpation of presidential authority through electoral fraud.

Her secretary of justice Raul Gonzales appears to be intelligent and unwittingly makes her come out as stupid when he declares in effect that she cannot make a wholesale commutation of more than 1000 death sentences and thereby nullify the death penalty law. Indeed, the death penalty law remains and commutation of death sentences is still done on a case-to-base through some bureaucratic process, notwithstanding the glossy and deceptive announcement of Arroyo.

But in the same breath, Gonzalez also comes out stupid and ignorant of the European Convention on Human Rights when he claims that the fake commutation of more than 1000 death sentences by Arroyo will enable the Dutch government to deliver me to the Arroyo regime. He does not know a bit about the European convention and probably he is oblivious of the fact that the charge of rebellion is not punishable by death.

Even if the death penalty law were repealed in the Philippines, the politically-motivated fabrication of rebellion charges, forced disappearances, warrantless arrests, torture, extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations committed by the Arroyo regime continue to justify the absolute protection of Article 3 of the European Convention that I enjoy.###

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